Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Far Better Than Anything Unlocked...

What’s better than unlocking a great classic card? Holding one in your hands, scanning it and showing it off. It gets even better when the classic card is of an All Star and it’s slabbed and autographed. This card came to me from Field of Cards as a total surprise in a trade we completed. I sent him a couple of modern Orioles and I got this gem in return. I am not sure if Gene Woodling is generally remembered as a Baltimore Oriole, but he did spend 4 years there as a player over two different stops. He was also their first base coach on their World Championship 1966 team. Prior to his time in Baltimore he won 5 World Series titles with the New York Yankees. In 26 World Series games, Woodling made 104 plate appearances, got 27 hits, 5 doubles, and 2 triples and hit 3 homers. He also walked 19 times and scored 21 runs. He had a career .318 batting and a .518 slugging percentage in the Series. He left New York for Baltimore as part of the 17-player dealer that involved Woodling leaving the Yankees and the Orioles giving up Don Larson and Bob Turley. Not a great trade from Baltimore’s perspective. Prior to his stardom in New York, Woodling was a legend in the minors. He won 4 batting titles and owns a .348 career minor league batting average over 6 seasons. He was one of the brightest prospects on the radar before World War 2 took 3 years of his career away. He returned to baseball in ’47 and showed rust, but in 1948 with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League he came back to his old form and batted .385 with 202 hits and a .606 slugging percentage. By 1949 he was playing left field beside Joltin Joe DiMaggio. Woodling, a left handed batter, platooned with righty Hank Bauer, but the two managed to get a number of at-bats each. Over his 17-year career in the Majors Woodling topped .300 five times and represented the Washington Senators in the 1959 All Star Game. He was a member of the Original Mets under his old manager Casey Stengel, but left because of issues with their front office. From there he used his energy as a champion for former players and is largely responsible for the quality of the pension plan today. Woodling died in June 2001 and is buried in Granger Fairview Cemetery in Granger, Ohio. His complete major league statistics can be viewed HERE. Woodling was a hero as a player, as a soldier, as a coach and as a fighter for the rights of former players. Thanks so much to Field of Cards for this AMAZING piece of history! No I am not becoming an Orioles fan again. Go Rays all the way! Troll out.


  1. Great post. The player advocates are not remembered nearly enough!

  2. Thanks, Mr. Troll! Nice post. Gene sure had an interesting life.

    One day we will get you back as an Orioles full-time fan! :)